Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Organic Valley

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER CASEY FROM ANNAPOLIS, MD. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS! We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’ll be sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series. Read on for a chance to win a $50 gift card. “We go out to the grocery store wearing our Organic Valley hats and someone will come up to us and say, ‘Oh, I love your stuff, it’s the best, thanks!’ and it feels great.” In scenic Fairfield, Vermont, young farmers Tyler and Melanie Webb run Stony Pond Farm, an organic dairy farm that supplies milk to Organic Valley. Their road to farming was a little unorthodox. Neither Tyler nor Melanie have a background in farming; they both grew up in suburbs of New York. Tyler’s first interest in farming came from studying anthropology in college. Through taking a soils class, he studied plant and soil science and worked for the government for a few years before taking the leap to start Stony Pond Farm. “Tyler found this farm and it was a rundown old dairy farm that together we brought back to life,” says Melanie. “I figured if I’m ever going to have a chance of being a farmer I’d better try it in my early 20s than my late 60s, so I quit my job, “ says Tyler. “I look back and I don’t even know how we pulled it off. Every day you wake up and you do what you have to do. You milk the cows and you do what’s possible and then before you know it, you’ve done the impossible. In looking back, it seems like it was impossible, but we did it.” For the Webbs, it was important for their dairy to be part of a farmer-owned cooperative like Organic Valley that encourages the growth and stability of family farms. “I think Organic Valley has been really interested in supporting and promoting young farmers, “ says Melanie. “It’s cool to be part of a co-op that is so forward-thinking.” What do you think about the hard work that the Webbs have put into starting their dairy farm? Watch the slideshow above and leave a comment with your answer by October 11. One comment will be chosen at random to win a $50 gift card to our stores.

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521 comments

Comments

Briana says …

I think what the Webbs are doing is awesome and I love Organic Valley products!

Jill Davis says …

Wow. What a great story! It makes me want to start a dairy myself!

Gary Rhine says …

‘Oh, I love your stuff, it’s the best, thanks!’ and it feels great.”

LaDawn M. says …

I think it is great that he found his passion and is able to do what he loves everyday! I feel it's a bonus that the rest of us get to enjoy the fruits of his labor. ;)

Liz T. says …

How nice to put faces and a story with a brand that I love! What I really enjoyed seeing was the cows all have actual names printed on their ear tags instead of numbers. They are an essential part of the Organic Valley and Webb family and are treated as such, instead of like pieces of machinery on an assembly line. Thank you for sharing this with us and please keep posts like this one coming!

Sarah says …

I think it's awesome that they were able to reclaim a rundown dairy and start something so fabulous! It's hard to be a farmer, so kudos to them for starting a farm from scratch with a committment to sustainability.

Carly says …

Organic Valley products are incredible and also something you can feel good about buying. I never thought people from NYC burbs would think to farm in their 20s when others consider that the partying years. very different & super cool.

Soledad Cervantes says …

Congrats on your accomplishment! ; )

Soledad Cervantes says …

Congrats on your accomplishment!

Michelle says …

Tyler and Melanie's story will encourage many other people to grow and eat organic. Seeing how hard it must have been to farm especially when you haven't before. I think this shows that if you work hard to achieve something, you will get it. I love their products, and I hope other farmer's will learn from their story!

Ravi Chand says …

Renews my trust in organic valley and orgnaic food in general.

Laura Wasden says …

These guys are super heroes! Looks like a great life they have created that will contribute to so many others.

Kymara Ely says …

I applaud the Webbs for starting their farm. I like the fact that they are young family like mine, concerned about the environment, want to provide the best for their family and their community by offering an organic product, and are living the old-fashion american dream of entrepreneurship.

Casey says …

I always drink Organic Valley - it's delicious and nutritious! Now I know the rest of the story - some of the farmers and cows behind the product. The Webbs are well spoken, energetic, and passionate about farming in a sustainable and organic manner. Their cows are beautiful, too! Thanks to the Webbs, I got the BEST milk!

Katie Morel says …

I love organic valley products!

David Battistoli says …

I loved this! It was a refreshing behind-the-scenes look into a great couple and their awesome products.

Deborah Short says …

awesome!

Danielle A says …

What a great & inspiring story! The fact that they are doing something wonderful at a young age shows they have drive & ambition! We love the Organic Valley cheeses & most recently the soy creamers for my coffee.

Jann Dougherty says …

We need more farmers like Tyler and Melanie! I am so inspired as i'm writing this! Wow; what a wonderful life they have, and I feel like they're milking their cows just for little 'ol me down here in Virginia! I love Organic Valley products; they're the best. It is such a welcome site to see two young people devoting themselves so wholeheartedly to good, whole food. I'm taking an Anthropology class this semester too; just like Tyler! Maybe a soil class next, then *my* own dairy farm? Anything is possible if you put your heart, mind, and soul to it, just as Tyler and Melanie have done.

Diane Davidson says …

I was really encouraged to read this article. Organic products and caring about the milk industry is really important. I pray they are very successful as years continue.

Lisa says …

Wow what an amazing story! These are the kind of people i am so glad to see be supported by companies like Organic Valley and Whole Foods! This is why I buy Organic Valley and Organic Prairie products at Whole Foods, for my family. My kids are organic consumers and supporters! They can all read the word "Organic" before they can read any other word!!!

Lora Kuehl says …

I think many of us have thoughts about how to change the world, so to speak. It's awe-inspiring to see someone actually doing just that.

bets says …

I love that Organic Valley did an energy audit on there dairy which resulted in solar hot water and wind mill.

Christine Muller says …

Fantastic and very heartwarming. It's so great to see where our OV milk comes from. I think that it's going to be an incredible place to raise their baby! My husband and I have been looking into hobby farming, which is not even close to running a full time dairy farm and we are still apprehensive. The Webb's make the impossible seem very possible!

Amanda Fiveash says …

I think that it is truly wonderful that young ones are embracing hard work with something that effects our future! They are not only farming to provide sustenance but doing so in an eco-conscious way! I wish I had the circumstances to do the same!

Erin says …

I'm so grateful for people like the Webbs who dare to make their dreams a reality! Doing so fulfills my dream of feeding my family truly heathy foods, so thank you!!!

Rose says …

This is the important thing about organic farmer's, and Orgnaic Valley - these people put their heart and soul into their farm adn they do it for them, and for all of those who purchase their products. Thank you Tyler & Melanie, for taking the risk to make our lives better!

dave says …

i think they are inspiring! what they are doing is amazing! good job!

Lauren says …

Thank you so very much Webb's!! Organic Valley is the only milk I give my one year old and feel good about it! You're awesome, let's hope your vision can inspire others!

Gina says …

I love being reminded that when I choose Organic Valley, I'm choosing people like Tyler and Melanie. Thanks for all you do, Webb family!

Emily says …

Love the still-shots! Organic Valley has done such a great job to keep the basic farming values in America! So inspired to keep concious of where my food is coming from and to do my part as well! Thank you for sharing! <3 from Wisconsin!

Ingrid says …

Great story - wish people were more aware of where their food is coming from! Keep up the good work Tyler and Melanie - let's make this a trend:)

Tim says …

Great story! Love to hear about the "little guy" making an impact.

Katy Fenley says …

What a great story! Truly inspiring!

Jeanine Allen says …

What an inspiring story! Tyler and Melanie are living the American dream. They have carved out a wholesome live for themselves and are helping us in the process. Thank you. I for one appreciate your hard work.

Donna says …

products are not only healthy and delicious, but produced in a humane thoughtful way by a progressive co-op. Kudos to the Webbs and to Organic Valley!

Jill says …

Wow, it's incredible that someone so young and who grew in NY would want to be not only farmers, but organic farmers. If only there were more people in the world with this kind of determination and work ethic. We're going to need lots more farmers like the Webbs in the future to grow our livestock and crops in this healthier and more natural way.

Ginnie Pham says …

I think it's awesome what Tyler and Melanie do. I so admire their courage and determination. God bless you and your young family abundantly.

Julie says …

What a great story! I love to hear about people doing what they love!

Hannah says …

I think what the Webbs is doing is fantastic. Local, true farming is hard to come by these days. And because of that rarity, people are becoming more aware of what they are putting into their bodies. The Webbs supply exactly what those people are looking for - natural and organic substances that will allow you to get all of the necessary goods out of your food. Keep on farming, Webbs. We love you.

Merrie Scully says …

i think to chose to have this kind of life would be something more people should aspire to. to be able to make a difference in this world is what we all should do.

Jorine Mills says …

I am blow away by their age. So young but willing to work so hard at a job that others will benefit from. A good wholesome product that I love!

Gia says …

I'm so happy to see so much care this farm is putting into their product.

Jaydene Lavallie says …

I think that it is great what they are doing and how much effort they put into making sure their cows are happy!

Lucy Cromas says …

This is a very inspiring family. Hope more families will be encouraged to live their dream.

Joanna says …

I think the "bringing something back to life" metaphor is inspiring!

Lauren Duchene says …

So inspiring, it is wonderful to see to young people take the plunge to be farmers! Its so cool that they are fulfilling there vision as an Organic Dairy, and providing families with a great Product, I love my Organic Valley :).

Eunice says …

I think it's great what they are doing. Wish more people will do the same.

ben says …

I buy this brand often and its neat to see where it starts. Its not just a faceless brand but something that independent farmers and families put their hard work into.

Sheryl says …

I just love this story. Organic agriculture done by people who did not grow up farmers is an especially daunting task. Wanting to be a farmer myself, I studied sustainable agriculture at UC Davis, worked on a farm, and worked for a small farm support organization in California. Farming is one of the biggest commitments there is especially when you have animals. There are no paid vacations, weekends off, or down time to be sick. Dedication to making a quality, earth friendly product is clearly what keeps these farmers going. Joining together in a co-op makes their product reasonably priced and I for one and thankful I can count on this product to be local and to support family farms. Kudos to the Webbs!

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